* 2020’s Win brings Team Sahlen’s tally to 3 Overall Victories at Pitt Race in the Tire Rack – ChampCar Series
* Team Sahlen has now secured 16 Tire Rack – ChampCar Podiums at Pitt Race
* Team Sahlen has won OVERALL in the Tire Rack – ChampCar Series for 5 consecutive seasons.
Pittsburgh International Race Complex marked the 1st Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series event of the year for Team Sahlen. During the long break, the team had put significant effort into further developing the new for 2019 Porsche Boxsters. Additionally the team had put extra attention to the tried and true Mazda RX7 that 1st debuted in the series all the way back in 2011.
Team Sahlen utilized the Friday Test day to work through the numerous parts on the race cars. The tests went well, with the team learning what worked, and additionally what items would still need to be developed for future tests. As well, this event marked the 1st race for Team Sahlen drivers Joseph Sahlen and Jacob Grimm since the spring of 2019. The duo utilized the #945 “Dijon” Mazda RX7 for their testing.
Saturday dawned with beautiful blue skies, and anticipation for the MoneyShiftRacing.com 8 hour Enduro ahead. Team Sahlen quickly rose through the pack, to see the team in 1st and 2nd place with the two Porsche Boxsters in the early hours of the event. Then a rare driveline issue side linded the #942 “Ketchup” for the day. #943 “Mustard” continued racing forward, leading the race, until an unusual tail light issue cropped up, forcing a lengthy delay in the pits. “Mustard” got back into the race, and posted a solid 9th place overall for the day. The Team Sahlen race of the day for Saturday was the #941 “Charcoal” driven by Joseph Sahlen and Jacob Grimm. The duo was able to shake off their 16 month race layoff and secure a fantastic 14th place finish overall out of the 73 entrants.
Joseph Sahlen shared his excitement after the race – “What an amazing fun time this was today. Our race was not without its incidents, but the crew did a good job persevering every time there was an issue, to keep us going. The improvements to “Charcoal” were amazing. It was just a joy to drive all day long.”
On Sunday, Team Sahlen was focused to redeem for Saturday’s event. Just like Saturday, the skies were blue, and Team Sahlen rose to the front very quickly. This day was not to see a repeat of Saturday’s misfortune, and hour after hour went by, and Team Sahlen continued to mix it up in the Top 3 Overall.
With 1 hour and 40 minutes to go in the race, a full course caution came out and the stage was set for a dual to the end. Wayne Nonnamaker had his sights set on the 1st place green Miata, and for the next 100 minutes, he laid down fast after fast lap to hunt down the leader. 2 full course cautions in the last 30 minutes of the race packed up the race, and when the green flag flew for the last time, Wayne was on the bumper of the Mazda. In a dual that was back and forth for several laps, Wayne used all of his years of racing experience, and slipped into the lead, and pulled out a very slim 3 second margin of victory at the end of the race.
Wayne shared his thoughts after amazing dual – “What a race! The Mazda and I were pretty evenly matched, so it made for some great racing. The crew did a great job all race with excellent pit stops. But we would not have been in this position if it wasn’t for Joe Sahlen’s excellent dual stints during the race. He was able to get to the lead and hold the stop spot, allowing us to be in a position at the end of the race to run for the victory.”
And to put the icing on the cake for Team Sahlen, Will Nonnamaker brought the #942 “Ketchup” Porsche Boxster home in 3rd Place OVERALL. to round out the Podium for Team Sahlen.
The next race for Team Sahlen will be October 23-25 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the dual 8 hour enduros with the Summit Racing – American Endurance Racing series.
2020 Team Sahlen Campaign Partners
honeybeeBase.com, Porsche Beachwood, Audi Mentor, ECS
Tuning, Tarett Engineering, Guard Transmission, Pittsburgh International Race
Complex, HubstandsPRO, Maxima Racing Oil, Brothers Grimm Landscaping, NGK Spark
Plugs, CM Racing Products, Mothers Polish, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine,
Design Engineering Inc., Hard Brakes, Forgeline Wheels, Optima Batteries,
All-Fit Automotive, Mazdaspeed, MSI Racing Products, Winding Road Racing,
Performance Friction Brakes & WIX Filters.